COUNCILLORS have authorised the City of Greater Bendigo to launch legal proceedings if Hopley Demolition does not remove all waste from the old tip site before December 31.
The council has asked Hopley Demolition to meet a series of conditions and deadlines to mitigate any further risk to the cap covering the former White Hills tip site.
Hopley Demolition has been ordered to clean up and get off the Crown land, which the city claims the company has been illegally trespassing on for several years.
Hopley Demolition does not have a lease for the site, but has been storing truckloads of industrial waste there for several years.
There are no permits in place for Hopley Demolition to access the old tip, use the area as a retail premises or for storing waste in readiness for crushing.
There is also believed to be no building permit for the site office.
The company does have permits to operate a crushing and recycling facility on land alongside the old tip. Planning and development director Prue Mansfield learnt about 18 months ago the company was encroaching on neighbouring Crown land. Ms Mansfield said last week the council tried to work with the company, but had reached the point where any further use of the land could cause long-term damage.
A Meinhardt report commissioned this year deemed extensive detailed assessments were needed at the site before it was proven safe for future use.
The company has also breached the Environmental Protection Act 1970 for depositing industrial waste at a site without permits to do so.
The Environment Protection Authority has issued Hopley Demolition Recycling Pty Ltd with a clean-up notice, requiring the company to remove all industrial waste from the premises and dispose to a licensed site before December 31.
The City of Greater Bendigo’s timeline for the company to take action was believed to be shorter.
However, Ms Mansfield yesterday said “Hopley Recycling Pty Ltd must provide an undertaking not to bring materials of any kind onto the site, and complete a number of actions in accordance with strict timelines that require the company to remove all waste and processed materials currently on site by December 31, 2013’. The City of Greater Bendigo has asked Hopley Recycling Pty Ltd to meet a series of conditions and deadlines to mitigate any risk of potential damage to the cap covering the former White Hills tip site,’’ she said.
“Council is supportive of the type of recycling work undertaken by Hopley Recycling Pty Ltd and remains willing to work with them to find an alternative location to store waste and processed materials.
Greg Tobin of Melbourne-based firm Harwood Andrews, acting for the Hopley group, yesterday said he could not comment on confidential matters.